RHM sends 12 Danish-Dutch Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine in the summer

Ukraine is poised to get a fleet of a dozen finely serviced Leopard 2A4 tanks in the upcoming summer, courtesy of the German firm, Rheinmetall [RHM]. This delivery is part of a 14 deal from the Dutch and Danish governments, committed to Ukraine’s defense initiatives. 

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: KMW

The maiden duo of these robust tanks has been expertly overhauled and is currently in the pre-shipment phase, bound for Poland. Insider reports from the Dutch Ministry of Defense suggest that these two tanks will not see frontline action, but rather serve as invaluable training tools for Ukraine’s tank personnel. 

What’s more, the summertime will witness Ukraine receiving not just the fleet of a dozen Leopard 2A4 tanks, but also an array of spare parts to ensure optimal operation. This news is captured by the German media outlet, Hart Punkt. They project that these twelve tanks will play a pivotal role on Ukraine’s battlegrounds, strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine [AFU] in their stand-off with the Russian army.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: Defence View

About Leopard 2A4

The Leopard 2A4 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei, now known as Krauss-Maffei Wegmann [KMW], of Munich, Germany. It’s a part of the Leopard 2 series, which is widely recognized as one of the world’s most powerful and capable tank designs. The 2A4 model, in particular, was the standard production version from 1985 to 1992, and it remains in service with several armies around the world.

The Leopard 2A4 is characterized by its robust and versatile design. It features composite and modular armor, which provides superior protection against a variety of threats. The tank’s turret and hull are made of multi-layered steel, ceramic, and other composite materials. It has a weight of around 55 tons and measures approximately 9.97 meters in length, 3.75 meters in width, and 3.03 meters in height.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The operational range of the Leopard 2A4 is impressive. It can travel up to 550 kilometers on roads and 450 kilometers off-road with its 1,200-liter fuel tank. This makes it an ideal choice for extended military campaigns where long-distance mobility is crucial. The tank’s range can be further extended with the addition of external fuel tanks.

Power plant and armament

The Leopard 2A4 is powered by an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 turbocharged diesel engine, which delivers 1,500 horsepower. This allows the tank to reach a top speed of 70 km/h on roads and 45 km/h in off-road conditions. The tank’s propulsion system also includes a Renk HSWL 354 hydro-mechanical transmission, which provides four forward and two reverse gears.

The armament of the Leopard 2A4 is formidable. Its primary weapon is a Rheinmetall L44 120mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing a variety of rounds including APFSDS, HEAT, and multi-purpose anti-tank projectiles. The tank also features two 7.62mm machine guns, one mounted coaxially with the main gun and the other on an anti-aircraft mount. Additionally, it’s equipped with a sophisticated fire control system that includes a laser rangefinder, thermal imaging, and a ballistic computer for accurate targeting.

Danish-Dutch 2A4s differ

The Danish Leopard 2A4 tanks, also known as Leopard 2A5DK, have been upgraded to meet the specific requirements of the Danish Armed Forces. The most significant upgrade is the addition of modular armor on the turret, which provides enhanced protection against different types of threats. The Danish version also features a battlefield management system, which is not present in the original German model.

The Dutch Leopard 2A4 tanks, also known as Leopard 2NL, have also been modified to suit the needs of the Royal Netherlands Army. These modifications include the installation of Dutch communication equipment and a Dutch-built passive night vision system. The Dutch version also has a different storage arrangement for the personal gear of the crew.

Camouflage differs

Another key difference is in the power units. The German Leopard 2A4 tanks use the MTU MB 873 Ka-501 engine, while the Danish and Dutch versions have been upgraded to the newer MTU MB 873 Ka-501 engine for better performance.

Lastly, the Danish and Dutch Leopard 2A4 tanks have different camouflage patterns compared to the German Leopard 2A4 tanks. The Danish tanks typically use a two-tone green and black pattern, while the Dutch tanks use a three-tone NATO camouflage. The German tanks, on the other hand, use a standard fleck-tarn camouflage pattern.

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